Dan Knechtges (“connect-us” he graciously explained). Dan is a Tony nominated choreographer, who also loves directing, and could not have been more fun for us to hang out with. He sat down with us in the studio to explain his very “A CHORUS LINE” story of going from a nine year old boy stealing the spot light in his sister’s dance class, to choreographing basement shows to Mozart, to eventually earning a Tony nomination for his work on XANADU. Of course the road is never easy, and Dan has some great stories including what he did after being told he was the worst choreographer ever, and why he was ready to walk away to be a paralegal. Dan has a wealth of knowledge, and gives it out in a very entertaining fashion. Listen in to find out what inspired Bill Finn (while they were working on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) to yell across the theatre, “You’re so gay Knechtges!”
Composer, arranger, orchestrator and pianist, Miho Hazama joined us in the studio to talk about her path to finding her mix between classical and jazz music. Currently, she is a New York City based jazz composer traveling the world performing her music. Starting as a pianist, her early studies in electronic organ later helped her with orchestration. From the age of 7 she started to study composition and later her interest in jazz started from listening to all types of music and in college hearing a big-band in rehearsal. She shared how she learned to improvise and find a balance between classical and jazz. Her life as a performer-conductor, arranger and composer is a balance that keeps her active and always busy. Recently released, she describes her second album with her jazz chamber orchestra, which includes new instrumentation for jazz music.
Co-Host Carol Ann Aicher chats with her co-hosts Kevin Chavez and Ryan Michael Hartman about her beginnings in music, growing up in a musical family and finding her way into a career in music with a specialty in pedagogy. She shares her teaching philosophy and how her educational background molds her current teaching style. Balancing teaching and performing is always a challenge, but both feed each other, sharing the same learning process herself as a performer enhances her teaching. As a performer she talks about the learning process and how her practicing supports her performance. Also revealed for our listeners is the real story of how co-hosts Kevin and Carol Ann met and how their collaboration started.
Richard Adams shares his career path that lead him from being a creative writer, a French Horn orchestral player, music management, theater management, to a 31 year tenure at the Manhattan School of Music starting in the career planning office, later as Director of Admission, various Dean positions and finally Vice President. As the founder of conservatory career training he speaks frankly about the skills that musicians need to cultivate to be successful in selling themselves and creating a music career. Sharing how he instigated changes to the conservatory curriculum, how he managed the resistance along with these changes, and how this lead the way to innovations in conservatory education. He talks about what it was like being an administrator, the skills he used, experience in hiring of new faculty, and how to negotiate the politics and culture.
Oboist and Photographer Matt Dine shares his story on how a physical injury launched his career as a New York Times Freelance Photographer. As an oboist for American Ballet Theater and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, most of his time is spent as a photographer and filmmaker. He shares his stories about his love for the Oboe and the Oboe community, including the movie he made of “Delmar.” Melting his love of the visual and musical, he has created interesting projects blending the two. Matt’s choices were clear from the start after graduation as he forged his own way in creating an active career in Manhattan.